General background information on the context of the engagement:
Belarus is a country of small towns, which account for over 80% of all settlements. Approximately one fifth of the population lives in these towns, which are the link between rural settlements, large cities and agglomerations.
Main development challenges of small and medium-sized towns are as follows: low living standards and lack of decent jobs due to low competitiveness of the local economy and high proportion of loss-making enterprises; increasing need to upgrade and reconstruct social and engineering infrastructure paired with the local budget deficit; challenged demographic situation, outflow of young and working age population to capital cities; disparity in male/female employment.
The project focuses on the promotion of employment/self-employment of the population in small and medium-sized towns through strengthening the external economic integration within the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and promoting the development of small businesses to address the employment challenges resulting from the restructuring of town-forming enterprises in Belarusian mono-industrial towns. The project facilitates coordination between the state authorities in charge of particular functions (entrepreneurship development, provision of financial and credit resources, attraction of investments, etc.) and local government agencies and institutes, which support businesses in solving issues and developing small and medium-sized towns.
The main mid-term project outcomes will be:
- Decrease of social risks of structural reforming of the industrial complex due to wide application of SME development and establishment of business incubators
- Enhancement of efficient employment and self-employment of the population in small towns and medium-size towns through the development of industrial cooperation
- Strengthening the integration potential of small towns in the context of development and implementation of (inter-)regional strategies in the context of the EAEU.
In a long-term perspective, the project will lay the foundation for sustainable social and economic development of small and medium-sized towns and improve the well-being of their populations.
Objective of the assignment:
The objective of the assignment is to ensure successful performance of project activities and delivery of all project outputs, as indicated in the Project Document and the Project Work Plan.
Work Performed/or responsibilities:
The Project Manager will be based in Minsk. He/she will work under direct supervision of the respective UNDP Programme Officer in coordination with the Project manager of the Local Development project and in close cooperation with the National Executing Agency. The Project Manager is expected to:
Overall project management:
- Assume primary responsibility for the day-to-day management and decision-making for the project, including both organizational and substantive matters, budgeting, planning and general monitoring of the project;
- Coordinate the activities of the project “Promotion of employment and self-employment of the population in small and medium-sized towns in the Republic of Belarus” to ensure its effective implementation and achievement of all the expected results in accordance with the approved Project Document and UNDP rules and regulations in a cost effective manner meeting the established internal and external deadlines.
Project administrative and financial management:
Ensure operational project management in accordance with the project documents as approved by the donor and the Government in line with UNDP rules and procedures for nationally executed projects, including:
- Organize meetings of the Project Steering Committee and follow-up on its sittings, as well as perform functions of Secretary during the sittings; Arrange and prepare materials for meetings of the Project Steering Committee;
- Prepare detailed annual work plans, to be approved by the Project Steering Committee, and ensure adherence thereto; revise work plans as required;
- Ensure that project activities are implemented in accordance with the approved work plans and budget table;
- Assume overall responsibility for the proper handling of logistics related to project workshops and events;
- Assume overall responsibility for recruitment of project personnel and short term consultants, along with procurement of goods and services performed by the project in accordance with the Project Document and with approved annual work plans;
- Prepare Terms of Reference (ToR) for national and international consultants and subcontractors following relevant UNDP procedures; contribute to the review of materials prepared by the experts;
- Ensure adequate management of the project resources and monitor expenditures, commitments and balance of funds under the project budget lines;
- Prepare and timely submit annual project reports to the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Belarus and progress reports to the UNDP and the donor as well as any other reports requested;
- Assume overall responsibility for meeting the targets set out in the agreed annual work plans, reporting on project funds and related record keeping;
- Secure appropriate management of project assets (both, for internal use and for subsequent transfer to national beneficiaries) attaining to the respective UNDP rules and procedures;
- Monitor project risks and performance indicators; keep logs of risks, issues, lessons learned, quality management, and project implementation monitoring (in accordance with UNDP procedures);
- Ensure proper operational and financial closure of the project in line with the relevant UNDP procedures.
- Guide and coordinate the work of the project team, national and international consultants and subcontractors and oversee its compliance with the agreed work plan;
- Supervise work of the project team and ensure compliance with the agreed plans and delivery and high quality of the results in accordance with respective Terms of Reference; provide the supervised staff with effective feedback on performance.
- Maintain regular contacts with the UNDP Country Office and the National Project Coordinator on project implementation issues pertaining to their respective competence;
- Liaise with relevant ministries, other national and international relevant institutions in order to involve them in project activities as necessary and gather and disseminate information relevant to the project;
- Ensure proper information coverage of project activities and PR in accordance with the respective UNDP rules and procedures;
- Ensure adequate information flow, discussions and feedback among the various stakeholders of the project;
- Coordinate project activities with other related technical assistance programs in the Republic of Belarus as necessary;
- Assist in organizing negotiations on cooperation with national government bodies and potential donors in order to identify and mobilize additional resources.
- Undertake any other actions related to the project as requested by UNDP or the National Project Coordinator.
- University degree in business administration, economics, public administration, international relations, social sciences or related field;
- Advanced university degree or academic training in relevant areas will be considered an asset;
- At least 5 years of relevant professional experience of which at least 3 years in project management;
- Work experience in the areas covered by the project is an asset;
- Work experience in managing development projects will be a strong asset;
- Excellent written and spoken English and Russian.
- Job knowledge and expertise: demonstrates ability to manage financial, human and material resources of the project;
- Result Orientation: assesses project performance to identify success factors and incorporates best practices into project work; monitors projects/programme implementation; demonstrates ability to manage data and prioritize tasks;
- Builds professional networks with partners, represents organization in the formal settings, establishes and maintains contacts with various partners and stakeholders, including senior-level officials, resolves conflicts;
- People Management: encourages collaboration and improves team performance, persuades others to embrace new ideas.